SPANISH police have revealed details of the arrest of a known British child sex offender who changed his name and falsified documents to gain employment at a school in Madrid.
The Olive Press broke the story last month of his arrest in Spain revealing how Ben Lewis, 31 had changed his name by deed poll and fled the UK finding work with children at schools in Spain despite being on the sex offenders register.
Our investigation uncovered how easy it was for someone with a criminal record to change their name, forge documents, move to Spain, evade criminal record checks and gain access to children.
The Olive Press learnt how within months of recieving a suspended sentence in the UK for child sex crimes, being put on a sex offender register and banned from leaving the country or working with children, he had moved to Zaragoza as a live au pair for a family with three young children.
He then found employment in Madrid, first at a well known English academy, followed by a teaching role at a bilingual concertado and finally at an expensive British syllabus private school in Madrid’s upmarket Arturo Soria, where he was arrested in June last year.
Now Spain’s National Police have confirmed that the suspect who they described as ‘a dangerous child sexual predator’ used his position as a teacher to gain access to children whom he photographed and filmed and then disseminated the sick material on paedophile forums on the dark web.
Police say that a team coordinating between international police forces to fight the online sexual exploitation of children were first alerted by police in Queensland, Australia that someone in Madrid was making and distributing images and the launched a “highly sophisticated technical operation” to track him down.
They concluded that many of the images from this one source appeared to have been taken within a primary school environment and by a person who used a mobile phone with an English operating system.
They also found footage taken by the same perpetrator in situations outside the school.
After identifying the likely school they ran background checks on all the staff and discovered that one was not in fact who he claimed to be but had changed his change and presented the school with a falsified criminal record check.
The teacher who called himself Ben David Rose had a criminal record for child sex crimes in the UK under his original name of Ben Lewis.
Police then searched his home and found encrypted files containing “a large volume of material on ten different devices”.
Detectives also found “several falsified documents which were used by the suspect to enter Spain and gain employment as a teacher, pretending to have a different name from his real one and undetected by authorities.”
The police statement pointed out: “In Spain it is an essential requirement whenever working with children to present a certificate that proves the lack of a criminal record for crime of a sexual nature”.
However it continued: “Such a certificate, a falsified one, was found at his home along with the necessary tools to carry out the forgery of such documents”.
Police said they had identified ‘36 victims aged between four and eight years old’ from images found on devices at his home in Madrid.
“He took advantage of his status as a teacher to gain access to the victims and gain the trust of parents, thus being able to generate an enormous amount of material that he disseminated in hidden paedophile-themed forums hosted in TOR network repositories,” said the police statement.
Lewis is currently on remand in El Soto prison outside Madrid awaiting trial.
Read the full investigation by The Olive Press.
LESSONS NEEDED: How did a convicted British paedophile move to Spain, dodge criminal record checks and find work as an English teacher?